I have been dreaming of bees for awhile now. I can just hear thousands of sweet little buzzing bodies fluttering around the blooms in our garden, stealing nectar here and there to take back to the hive. Just as I dreamed of having beautiful bright orange yolks in our eggs from our own healthy backyard chickens, I now dream of having jars of golden honey lined up in the pantry. There is just something about having a hand in raising my food that makes me feel content and happy.
Just this week, I’ve taken a big step forward in my beekeeping plans. First, I connected with our local Ozark County Missouri University Extension Office in an attempt to see what resources might be available to new beekeepers. The contact there referred me to the Howell County office, located about 45 minutes away in West Plains. It turns out they had a beekeeping class scheduled for Feb. 11 and 13, so I signed up!
We originally had plans of adding a hive or two this spring, but those plans almost were put on hold when we lost our first chicken and decided we really needed to funnel our funds into building a new permanent coop and run. See my last blog post here for our ideas on that. The upfront cost of having bees seemed expensive, and I just didn’t think we’d have enough green to stretch for the new coop and run and a few hives.
BUT… just as I was about to give up on the idea for this year, a co-worker let me know that a relative of his who had passed away several years ago left a shed full of beekeeping equipment, and the family was in the process of cleaning out the shed and would be willing to sell it. Score!
So, he brought it all in this week for me to look at. Since I really don’t know much about bees yet, I didn’t really know what I was looking at, or whether if it would be able to be used again. Neither one of us had a good idea of a price point, so he threw out a $40 figure, and I agreed. I figured if it works, we got a bargain, and if it doesn’t, well we’re not out much money.
So, fellow beekeepers out there… tell me what will work and tell me what won’t.
The suit looks like it’s in good shape. It’s size XXL, and I usually wear a medium. There are few small stains, but it looks as if it’s in really good shape.
I don’t see any holes or damage. There is a hat sewn into the top of the veil. I’m not sure if that is how it was made or it was an adjustment from the previous owner.
The gloves have a little wear on them, but they don’t have any holes. They come up to just under my elbows.
This is where I get a little clueless. From what I’ve read, I believe this is a 10 frame hive body and super? Is that right? Someone please correct me if not.
The one box is larger and has frames with four wires connecting the top and bottom. However, most of the wires are broken, and about half of the frames still have comb on them.
The other box was slightly smaller and in better condition. It was wrapped in plastic. It also has frames, but these frames have a plastic comb-like plate in each of them. The plastic seems brittle, and several are warped or broken.
…and that about sums it up. So what do you think? Did I get a beekeepers bargain, or is it a bust?
This post is part of the frugal ways sustainable ways blog hop. Check out other great posts here.